Friday, April 30, 2004

This is what i love about English 

That there's eventually a word for everything. Today's word?

(fleks.uh.TAYR.ee.un) n. A person who eats a mostly vegetarian diet, but who is also willing to eat meat or fish occasionally. —adj. (Flexible + vegetarian.)

apparently it was coined way back in 1992 -- it's taken me over a decade to hear of it. this must be a reflection of the number of carnivores i tend to hang with.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I probably shouldn't be happy about this 

Apparently, bananas are not long for this world.

Bananas are one of those foods i simply cannot stand -- they provoke the gag-reflex in me. i blame it on an elementary school lunch, where i had left my metal lunchbox near the heat all morning, causing the whole lunch to acquire a thoroughly banana smell. i went ahead and ate it (skip lunch? unheard of!), and of course felt pretty darn ill afterwards. and thus a strong aversion was born. at least that's what i *believe*; who knows if the truth is anything like that.

now, i can't claim to be happy that we've got a vivid example of "what can go wrong with messing with nature". but a world where i don't have people pushing banana bread on me all the time because "everyone loooooves banana bread"? now that would be akin to heaven.

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Friday, April 09, 2004

Fixing my lack of religion 

Just spent some time talking about Holy Week (which it currently is for us Catholic types) with my co-worker MPL, and he pointed me to a whole mess of links compiled by one of his ubercool profs at Holy Cross. It's chock full of intriguing stuff, especially for someone like me who would prefer to attack her doubts on religion via scholarship (since, you know, that's how i've been trained to learn stuff. Faith doesn't come so easily for me). MPL also suggested Jesus and Judiasm which was one of the best books used by his religion class with this prof. Looks like i can get it thru the library, so perhaps i'll give it a shot.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004


This is yet another time waster, oh, i mean brain teaser. "Sokoban" is in the Puzzle Game category at this site. The objective is to cover the marked squares with crates. The postman can move only one crate at a time, and he can push but not pull. I've finished level 3 so far, and have high hopes of someday hitting double digits. The math geek in me is very happy with this game.

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Monday, April 05, 2004


The world is coming to an end. No really, it is this time. The Fairfax Count School Board has declared that the movie 1776 is unfit for middle schoolers because it's too risque.

Ok, we watched that in elementary school for many years, and the only reactions i remember my fellow students having were (1) boredom (2) mild happiness that any film was being shown rather than doing "real work" or (3) happiness at seeing a musical [yes, more people than just me felt that way. not a lot, but some!] Not one kid thought it was titillating. No one thought we were getting away with something. And if it can safely be shown to 5th graders and younger, what could possibly be in there to set off 6th-8th graders?

The whole point of this show is to drive home the point that the Founding Fathers were people too. History isn't just a bunch of facts -- it's about people doing things. People with wives and families. People with tremendous egos. People who can dislike each other, but put that aside when something more important comes down the pike. People who would rather be doing something else, but are convinced to stick around and help out. What more relatable way to show this than to have people wanting to be with their wives?!?!

and please -- "sexual innuendo"? Thomas Jefferson says he "burn[s]" for his wife. John Adams claims "I'm only 41, I still have my virility." We have the statement "Life is more than sexual combustability" [which, one would think, is an idea these board members could probably get behind]. The whole song about how Jefferson wooed his wife gets no raunchier than saying TJ "played the violin", which i suppose you could turn into a metaphor, but please don't tell me how, because the necessary contortions would be too much for my fairly agile brain.

please, world, stop trying to protect the next generation from things that aren't dangerous -- especially not things that might inspire them to see a school subject in a whole new non-boring light!

(insanity pointed out by Neil Gaiman)

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Sunday, April 04, 2004

My new desktop image 

I was shopping for picture frames the other day and saw some great colorful artwork on display. Turns out, there's this guy going around the boston area leaving cool little pieces of artwork which are free for the taking -- as long as you promise to start smiling more often at random people.

it's a very cool idea -- i've noticed myself that i'm much less friendly to random people i encounter than i was when i lived in the countryside. and while there's good healthy reasons behind that, i think the city-types tend to go too far in being reserved -- it does tend to morph from "not bothering others" to "seeming unpleasant towards everyone".

i haven't yet seen any of his artwork floating around unclaimed on the streets, and i'm not sure i'm in the market for $75+ artwork, so i don't own any of his little creatures yet. but i think i'll start smiling more anyways. :-)

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